Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder:It is a disorder characterized by frequent panic attacks that are not associated with a specific situation and the worry that these panic attacks will occur again.

Panic attack: It includes sudden severe anxiety, dread, a feeling that something terrible is going to happen, along with at least four other symptoms. These Symptoms;

• Difficulty in breathing

• heart palpitations

• Nausea

• Upside down stomach

• Chest pain

• Feeling of suffocation-not being able to breathe

• dizziness

• Dizziness

• Feeling of fainting

• Sweating

• chills

• Hot flashes

• Numbness or tingling

• tremor

Panic disorder patients may also frequently apply to clinics belonging to other specialties.

• 15% of the patients who applied for vestibular disorder,

• 16% of the patients who applied to the cardiology outpatient clinic,

• It has been reported that 35% of those admitted to the hospital due to hyperventilation symptoms have panic disorder.

Panic disorder most commonly begins between late adolescence and the age of 30s. In the clinical sample, the mean age of onset is around 25.

Panic disorder can start in childhood or over the age of 40, although at lower rates.

Panic attacks often begin as a result of arousal by internal bodily sensations. Behavioral Theory proposes that panic attacks are classically conditioned responses to anxiety-provoking situations or arousal by internal bodily sensations,

In the Cognitive Model, it is assumed that panic attacks result from a catastrophic misinterpretation of certain bodily sensations. Misinterpreted sensations mainly include somatic symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, and breathing difficulties that occur in normal anxiety states. Catastrophic misinterpretation is expressed as perceiving bodily sensations as more dangerous than they actually are, such as seeing a heart attack with palpitations, difficulty in breathing as a harbinger of dying. According to this view, anxiety is not always responsible for the emergence of sensations.

In studies investigating early life events in panic disorder, long-term separation from parents during childhood was found in 1/2 of the patients.

Exposure to sexual or physical abuse in the early period is another subject investigated in panic disorder patients. In a study, it was determined that 8% of panic disorder cases were exposed to sexual abuse and 12% to physical abuse.

Stressful life events can be seen before the development of panic disorder. In a study on this subject, it was determined that approximately 2/3 of the cases had stressful life events in the 6 months before the onset of the disease.

Considering the incidence of these events, they are listed as follows;

• Being separated from or threatened with separation from a loved one,

• Job change,

• Pregnancy,

• Migration,

• Marriage,

• Graduation from school,

• Death of a close person,

• Physical illness.

Panic disorder often coexists with other anxiety disorders and depression. Major depression is seen in 35-90% of panic disorder patients. It has been reported that depression started before panic disorder in 1/3 of patients with panic disorder and depression coexisting, and depression started with or after panic disorder in 2/3 of them.

In patients with panic disorder, hypochondriasis, in which the fear of having a serious illness and the tendency to medically confirm the belief in this direction, persists at rates not as low as 20%. Hypochondriac fears are most commonly related to having a cardiac or neurological disease.

Alcohol abuse is a serious risk factor for panic disorder patients. Panic disorder patients initially start drinking alcohol to reduce anticipatory anxiety, but over time alcohol abuse/dependence may emerge as a complication.

Another important risk factor in panic disorder patients is suicidal thoughts and attempts. Suicide attempts in panic disorder patients have been found to be frequently associated with concomitant psychopathology, especially major depressive disorder and alcohol/substance abuse.

Panic Disorder is a curable ailment, recovery is possible with expert support.

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